Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli

Jeffrey E. Barrick, Dong Su Yu, Sung Ho Yoon, Haeyoung Jeong, Tae Kwang Oh, Dominique Schneider, Richard E. Lenski, Jihyun F. Kim

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722 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relationship between rates of genomic evolution and organismal adaptation remains uncertain, despite considerable interest. The feasibility of obtaining genome sequences from experimentally evolving populations offers the opportunity to investigate this relationship with new precision. Here we sequence genomes sampled through 40,000 generations from a laboratory population of Escherichia coli. Although adaptation decelerated sharply, genomic evolution was nearly constant for 20,000 generations. Such clock-like regularity is usually viewed as the signature of neutral evolution, but several lines of evidence indicate that almost all of these mutations were beneficial. This same population later evolved an elevated mutation rate and accumulated hundreds of additional mutations dominated by a neutral signature. Thus, the coupling between genomic and adaptive evolution is complex and can be counterintuitive even in a constant environment. In particular, beneficial substitutions were surprisingly uniform over time, whereas neutral substitutions were highly variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1247
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume461
Issue number7268
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 29

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Barrick, J. E., Yu, D. S., Yoon, S. H., Jeong, H., Oh, T. K., Schneider, D., Lenski, R. E., & Kim, J. F. (2009). Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli. Nature, 461(7268), 1243-1247. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08480